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The type of Rolling Stone

Bringing history into the present

Vincent Winter was associate Art Director, 1975-1978, and is now in Paris, where he had several gallery shows of his photography.

MY IN-DEPTH VOYAGE through type history has been a boon, layering my decisions—even now—with a sense of scope and humility. You strive to shun anything gratuitous or banal, but success isn’t necessarily a given—it’s only a goal.

Any comment on a colleague’s layout usually involved a question: Does it sing? That became a sort of de facto mantra, something to strive for. Something I still ask myself. Meaning: Does it surprise? Does it catch the spirit of the writing? Does it make you want to read the article?

The consistently high level of Rolling Stone photography instilled in me a desire to achieve the same level in every other design project I ever had. Push the limits, explore the possibilities, never accept “good enough.” Now, if only clients felt the same way…

Hunter S. Thompson spread by Vincent Winter.

AT ROLLING STONE, after reading an article and before starting any design, there were always visits to the specimen books, or books with typographic title pages, or the newsstand, or to the Public Library, searching for any connections to history that could be brought into the present and adapted and modernized to best fit the subject of the article. But it was never about design for design’s sake—it all had to add up to a revelation. The goal was to maximize readability as well as provide an exciting environment for the reader.

We found a lot of the headline fonts in old specimen books, but since the complete alphabet was often missing, our resident typographer, Ann Pomeroy, had to deduce what the “Y” might look like, for example, then take the whole mess home and spend half the night drawing and inking a final word or headline at 200 percent. Slick. Fun. —Vincent Winter

The type of Rolling Stone

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